At the last School Meeting on May 21, yearbook editors Kathy Fong '21, Belle Laxer ’21, Xinyi Lu '21 and Tess Whitehead ’21 presented the first yearbook to math teacher and longtime girls' cross country coach R. Latta Browse, to whom the 2021 ACTA is dedicated.
“This year’s theme of ‘Change’ is indicative of the year we had and the positive change we experienced together,” Belle said. “It was easy for us to choose Mr. Browse.”
Appointed to Blair’s faculty in 1982, Mr. Browse has impacted the Blair community in a variety of ways during his tenure, serving as math department chair, dorm head of Davies, West and Mason halls, and sophomore class monitor. He has also served as head or assistant coach for a myriad of sports and is currently head coach of the girls' cross country team.
Mr. Browse began his career graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1978 from Middlebury College with a BA in mathematics. In 1989, he earned an MALS in Islamic studies at Columbia University and, in 1991, received his CAS in mathematics from Wesleyan University. Before coming to Blair, Mr. Browse taught high school mathematics as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malaysia and as an international baccalaureate math teacher in Belgium.
Mr. Browse is married to Dean of Campus Life and Director of Leadership Programs Carolyn Conforti-Browse ’79, they are the parents of Tyler ’08 and Annelies ’13.
For the printed dedication, the yearbook editors gathered testimonials from Blair students, alumni and faculty, each of whom has a special connection with Mr. Browse. Many of the entries highlight Mr. Browse’s optimism, dedication to students and the lasting impact he has made on campus.
“Mr. Browse is the most genuine, funny, and supportive coach imaginable, and he is so much fun to be around,” said Lily Starrs ’21, Corrine Wilm ’21 and Jessica Wilm ’21. “Even during seasons when he isn’t coaching us, he shows up at our meets and practices. Coach Browse has proven that he truly cares about us, not just as athletes and students, but as people for these past four years, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have gotten to know him! Mr. Browse is our biggest supporter, and we are all so lucky to have him in our corners. Thank you for all the bonfires, team dinners, strategy talks before races, deep conversations, and for being such a constant and positive role model. You are one of things we will miss most when we graduate from Blair.”
“I always appreciate Latta’s honest and frank appraisal of things, he’s such a voice of reason and one of my most valuable friends,” noted English teacher Craig Evans.
As he accepted his award on Marcial Field, Mr. Browse humbly expressed his gratitude to the Blair community for his nomination. He explained that to him, this is the greatest honor a teacher can receive.
“You cannot imagine how happy I am to receive this, thank you to everyone,” he said. “To the class of 2021, I will always remember you and the year we experienced together.”